24 July 2023

Brian Harman reveals spectator heckle helped spur him on to Open glory

24 July 2023

Open champion Brian Harman has revealed how being heckled by a spectator helped inspire him to a dominant victory at Royal Liverpool.

Harman held a five-shot lead after a stunning second round of 65 but got off to a slow start on Saturday with two dropped shots in the first four holes.

“After I made the second bogey a guy, when I was passing him, he said, ‘Harman, you don’t have the stones for this’,” Harman said in his post-championship press conference.

“It helped snap me back into (thinking) ‘I’m good enough to do this. I’m going to do this. I’m going to go through my process, and the next shot is going to be good’.

“I figured at some point, just with the weather and the scenario, you’re going to hit bad shots. I knew that the way I responded to that would determine whether I’d be sitting here or not.”

Harman carded a third round of 69 to maintain his five-shot lead and a closing 70 in miserable conditions to finish six shots clear of Masters champion Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Sepp Straka and Tom Kim.

“It’s pretty surreal. It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Harman said. “I’m not going to let it (the Claret Jug) out of my sight for the time being. To win what I consider the greatest prize in golf is as good as it gets. I’m over the moon.

“It was a tough last three days, it really was. Being able to get some sleep was big last night. Sleeping on a lead like that is really difficult, so I’m proud of the way I hung in there the last couple days.”

Shot of the day

For the second time in the day Harman’s lead was briefly down to three shots before he holed from 40 feet for birdie on the 14th.

Round of the day

Three players shot 67 on the final day, but Harman’s 70 was even more impressive given the circumstances as he recovered from two early bogeys to card four birdies in a closing 70.

Quote of the day

“First I’m going to have me a couple pints out of this here trophy, I believe” – Harman said he was keen to get back home to see his family, but not before enjoying his triumph.

Toughest hole

With the pin close to the out of bounds to the right of the green, the par-four third hole played the toughest for the first time, with just four players making birdie, three carding a double bogey and three taking triple-bogey sevens.

Easiest hole

The par-five fifth was the easiest hole for the fourth day in succession, with one eagle and 34 birdies contributing to a scoring average of 4.618. Champion Harman made one of just five bogeys there on Sunday.

When is the next major?

The 88th Masters will take place at Augusta National from April 11-14, 2024.

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